Professor Clay Shirky calls it cognitive surplus — which means the extra brain matter we no longer need for survival, since we lead less harrowing lives.
It is this brainpower — left unused like a discarded Soloflex — that we've now put towards watching TV. He says Americans watch 200 billion hours — which he says is bad, especially since it only took 100 million hours of thought to create Wikipedia, which is a dating site for Wiccans.
Shirky's point: TV blocks creative growth.
This is crap.
Television does not sap creativity, it is merely a wondrous result of it. Just look at how TV has evolved from a cumbersome monstrosity to a sleek wafer, thinner than one of Amy Winehouse's collapsed veins. That's human ingenuity.
It's also a cliché to think America wastes its life in a stupor, roasting like 7-Eleven hotdogs in front of "Two and a Half Men." And the idea that if we stop watching, we'll suddenly start inventing flying thermoses and edible doorknobs is even more retarded.
We do our best thinking while watching television. TV exists really as a backdrop, allowing us to think thoughts that in silence would drive us mad.
Finally, the idea that we need more crap like Wikipedia is ludicrous. Wikipedia is actually worse than TV, for it pretends to make you think, when all you're doing is looking up junk. TV is far better for it humbly offers jaunty theme songs and a group hug with every episode.
Unless it's Lifetime… then it's just sodomy.
And if you disagree with me, then you sir are worse than Hitler.